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PATRIMONIO NACIONAL. Tapiz Zenobia y el emperador Aureliano (Siglo XVII)

  • Issue date: 12/07/2010
  • Printing Process: Huecograbado
  • Paper: Estucado, engomado, fosforescente
  • Size of stamp: 57,6 x 40,9 mm. (horizontal)
  • Size of block sheet: 115 x 144 mm. (vertical)
  • Postal value of the stamps: 0,78 €
  • Print run: 300.000 hojas bloque
  • Dented: 13 ¼ (horizontal) 13 ¾ (vertical)
  • Block print run: 300.000 hojas bloque

The tapestry Zenobia and emperor Aurelian, dates from the 17th century and depicts Zenobia handing over the keys of the city to emperor Aurelian on a horse and wearing a Victory crown. The tapestry is decorated with a border of garlands, fruits angels and other floral and plant elements. At the top, in the centre there is a console with the inscription : Tyrana ne foret/periurus iubet cives mactare/canes. The tapestry was made of silk and wool in Brussels by Gerard Peemas around 1660 and belongs to the collection of Patrimonio Nacional (National Heritage) and is exhibited in the Palacio Real in Madrid.


The tapestry belongs to the series History of Zenobia and the emperor Aurelian. It was woven following the design of Justus van Egmont, painter born in Leiden in 1601 and decesed in Antwerp in 1674. In the Royal History and Art Museum in Brussels there are a series of tapestries on the History of Zenobia depicting paintings by Justus van Egmont manufactured by Gerard Peemans. Painter Van Egmont was inspired by the literary works of Jean Tristan de Saint-Amant Commentaires historiques contenant l´histoire générale des Empereurs, Impératrices, Césars et Tyrans de l’Empire Romain, published in 1644.


The main character is Julia Aurelia, later known as Septimia Zenobia, wife of Septimio Odenato of Palmira, whom at the death of this latter became queen of Palmira. Due to her expansionist policy she confronted Rome and was defeated in Antiochia in 272 and captured by emperor Aurelian. Zanobia, since the Middle Ages, has had a reputation for being a remarkable woman which is why she has frequently featured in tapestries and paintings throughout the centuries.

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